Municipal managers and strategists, still reeling from Detroit's bankruptcy, the surge in Puerto Rico yields, and a mid-year sell-off that was the worst in a quarter century, are getting their portfolios ready for the next expected hurdle as 2014 approaches — another spike in interest rates.

They're turning to shorter durations, high quality, or alternative coupon structures - or a combination of these strategies — to protect their holdings from volatility prompted by expectations that the Federal Reserve Board will begin tapering of its $85 billion-a-month economic stimulus program in the first quarter.

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